Effective Student Ministry Rule #1 – Leaders & Parents MUST remember that God charged parents with the responsibility of raising their kids
When Scripture speaks about raising children, it speaks directly to Parents about their responsiblity to raise their children…and doesn’t ever mention Student Ministry Pastors/Leaders (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 6:4).
If a Student Ministry is going to be effective, the Student Ministry Pastor/Leader cannot approach their job as the one who is raising the students who come to youth group. The students that come have parents, and God has charged parents with raising their kids. When a Student Ministry Pastor/Leader tries to take over that role in a student’s life, it causes confusion and strife. Parents are to raise their kids, and Student Ministry Pastors/Leaders are to be a spiritual guide and help to them during their child’s teenage years.
On the flip side, if a Student Ministry is going to be effective, the Parents need to take ownership over their children and their God-given charge to be the one to raise them. The Student Ministry Pastor/Leader is not a professional “teenage raiser” or “glorified babysitter”, they are a spiritual guide to these students as they grow and begin to formulate how the see and think about life. When the Parents just drop their kids off at church with the attitude of “fix my kid”, they will be sadly disappointed and the Student Ministry Pastor/Leader will be stuck in a very difficult place that is a no win situation.
Effective Student Ministry Rule #2 – Leaders who embrace rule #1 put themselves in a position to be effective spiritual mentors to students
When the Student Ministry Pastors/Leaders understand and embrace the fact that they are not supposed to be the parents to the students who come, it opens the door for them to be who they were meant to be a pastors/leaders…spiritual guides and mentors to the students. Students will see their Student Ministry Pastors/Leaders as someone they can talk to, seek advice from, and get help as they navigate through life. Student Ministry Pastors/Leaders will be much more able to speak into the student’s life when the proper boundaries and roles are in place and embraced, and both the student and Student Ministry Pastor/Leader will be better for it.
Effective Student Ministry Rule #3 – parents who embrace rule #1 create a godly family environment where students grow & mature in their faith
When Parents understand their role in their kids life and embrace it, they will be in a position to work on creating a proper godly home environment where their child can grow spiritually. Children are only in the Student Ministry for a short time, but they are in their family for life. It is a dangerous situation when the only place a student can get spiritual guidance is at Youth Group. When they are older they can’t always be contacting their old Student Ministry Pastor/Leader for help…they have to grow in their faith on their own as well. The main place for that to happen should be the home, and when it is the student will be much stronger spiritually and more equipped to handle life when they are out on their own.